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Shark killing near San Diego

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I saw this on MSN today when I was checking my hotmail. ----HK

Shark kills triathlete training at Calif. beach

Attack happened near Solana Beach in San Diego County, authorities say

080425-sharkattack-hmed-12p.h2.jpg Sandy Huffaker / AP

Two women console one another after viewing the body of a 66-year old swimmer who was killed by a shark while training with a group of triathletes off the coast in Solana Beach, Calif. on Friday, April 25, 2008.

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Deadly shark attack at San Diego beach

April 25: A shark kills a man at a San Diego County beach. MSNBC's Amy Robach reports.


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MSNBC News Services

updated 2 hours, 12 minutes ago

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. - A shark thought to be a great white on Friday attacked and killed a 66-year-old swimmer who was training in the ocean off San Diego County with a group of triathletes, authorities said.

Family friend Rob Hill identified the victim as Dave Martin of Solana Beach, a retired veterinarian.

The man was attacked by what authorities believe was a great white shark at Tide Beach around 7 a.m., authorities said.

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Martin was taken to a lifeguard station for emergency treatment but reportedly bled to death at the scene.

The man's injuries crossed both thighs and were made "by what is probably a great white shark," San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Randy Webb said in a statement.

"It looks like the shark came up, bit him, and swam away," said Solana Beach Deputy Fire Chief Dismas Abelman.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography shark expert Richard Rosenblatt said the shark was probably a great white between 12 and 17 feet long.

Shark won't likely be located

Rosenblatt said the victim was likely killed with a single upward thrust and bite. Water in the area is 20 to 30 feet deep. The expert said it's unlikely the shark can be located.

The attack took place about 150 yards offshore. Several swimmers wearing wetsuits were in a group when the shark attacked, said Solana Beach lifeguard Craig Miller. Two swimmers were about 20 yards ahead of the man when they heard him scream for help. They turned around and dragged him back to shore.

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North America's shark beaches

Swimmers were ordered out of the water for a 17-mile stretch around the attack site and county authorities sent up helicopters to scan the waters for the shark. "The shark is still in the area. We're sure of that," Mayor Joe Kellejian said.

Hill, a member of the Triathlon Club of San Diego, said he was running on the beach while about nine other members were in the water when the attack took place.

"They saw him come up out of the water, scream 'shark,' flail his arms and go back under," Hill said. "The flesh was just hanging."

Hill said club members had been meeting at the beach for at least six years and never had seen a shark.

However, Hill said he saw a sea lion on the beach Friday, which was unusual for the area, and speculated that perhaps the shark had been hunting them and got close to shore. The shark may have confused the wet-suited swimmers with his prey, he said.

Rosenblatt, the shark expert, said white sharks travel through the area, and the way the man was attacked and the "massive" but clean wounds "sounds like what a white shark would do."

White sharks hunt along the bottom, look for seal silhouettes above and then rise to attack, he said. "A human swimmer is not too unlike a seal," he said.

Solana Beach is 14 miles northwest of San Diego.

Shark attacks are rare

Shark attacks are extremely rare. There were 71 confirmed unprovoked cases worldwide last year, up from 63 in 2006, according to the University of Florida. Only one 2007 attack, in the South Pacific, was fatal.

The last fatal shark attack in California, according to data from the state Department of Fish and Game, took place in 2004, when a man skin diving for abalone was attacked by a great white shark off the coast of Mendocino County.

On Aug. 19, 2003, a woman swimmer was killed by a great white at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County on the central California coast.

The last fatal shark attack along San Diego County was off Ocean Beach in April 1994.


"Well, Toutousai...don't you think it's a pity for Tessaiga? All Inuyasha can do is wave about a sword with all his strength...it's the same whether it's a famous sword or a log."


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